Pleasant is best known for her figurative, free associative paintings and drawings and her signature lines and marks, which convey each work’s slowly-unfolding narrative. With Suspended, she eschews the figurative element that has become the hallmark of her two-dimensional work, creating a space where viewers insert themselves into cloud imagery and interact with it as an actor does on stage amidst a set.
Pleasant explains the genesis of the piece this way: “Flying home from a trip, I was looking out the window from a plane and began wondering how many people have this exact same experience—looking out of the window this way, with the clouds all around you, you’re suspended in them, and there’s a sense of depth and euphoria that I wanted to capture.”
While Pleasant’s project draws upon her interest in formal issues like line and perspective, her cloudscape can be interpreted metaphorically as a spiritual passage into higher consciousness.
Amy Pleasant’s Suspended is organized by Ron Platt, the Museum’s Hugh Kaul Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and appears courtesy of Jeff Bailey Gallery, New York.
About the Birmingham Museum of Art: Founded in 1951, the Birmingham Museum of Art has one of the finest collections in the Southeast. More than 24,000 objects displayed and housed within the Museum represent a rich panorama of cultures, including Asian, European, American, African, Pre-Columbian, and Native American. Highlights include the Museum’s collection of Asian art, Vietnamese ceramics, the Kress collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts from the late 13th century to the 1750s, and the Museum’s world-renowned collection of Wedgwood, the largest outside of England.